Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Running in Place

7.4 Miles, 1:00:34, 8:11 pace, Avg HR = 137, Max HR = 175

Julie picked me up from work today with the intention of us going on a run together. Unfortunately the blinding rain storms had their say, so we went to the apartment gym and hit the treadmills. Runner's world claims that a 1% incline simulates a "real" run. The elevation offsets the lack of wind resistance. I remembered this tidbit about .25 into the run and changed the elevation to 1%. I didn't notice much of a difference, so I upped it to 1.5% another mile later for the remainder of the run.

I prefer running outside, but a treadmill has its advantages. It's great on the body from an impact perspective, and it's easy to monitor your pace. In today's case, I wanted to run negative splits. You can't really argue with the treadmill's speed unless you want to end up like this guy. I was also able to monitor my cadence under controlled conditions, and I ran 180 paces per minute. That's supposed to be a good thing. Any less means you're over-striding and slowing yourself down by placing your foot too far in front of you (think of a pole vault.) Any more and you're supposed to be wasting energy through unnecessary motion. This applies to all runners, regardless of height or speed.

One other treadmill benefit is the ability to watch yourself in the mirror. Some people look silly when they run, and you can determine if you fall into that category if you watch yourself running. But even if you don't look "silly", you can check for unnecessary movement. It's amazing how effortless the elite runner look while they're running their 5:20 miles. Their heads barely move with each step, which is an effect of their efficient style. Looking at the mirror helps me to focus on that small aspect of conserving energy.

8:59, 8:39, 8:31, 8:25, 8:17, 8:01, 7:13, 2:29 (6:12 pace over .4 miles)

Administrative note: I need to post a correction to a prior post. After closer study it appears as if my weekly mileage last week was only 37 miles, not 40 as reported. The 1:50 miles I "ran" on 8/19/07 were accidentally recorded while I was driving. But 37 miles is still my longest to date.

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